Baby Shower Inspiration

Thursday, May 31, 2012

This is what I have been slowly working on the last couple of weeks. Getting the house ready for 30+ guests, finishing all the unfinished projects in the yard I have going on, and getting all the decor and supplies for my sister's baby shower has not been easy.  And that's on top of taking care of the kids, which in itself takes up most of my day.  And energy.  Well, I have big plans; we'll see how it all comes together on Saturday!

1. matryoshkas 2. fringe streamers 3. Mexican banners 4. tissue paper poufs 5. dessert table

Also, if you'd like to follow me on Pinterest, just search Tanya Martsenyuk.  Most of these photos are on there.  It's so handy to be able to store all my ideas in one place!


Summer Vacation Has Begun

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Yesterday was the last day of school for my two older kids.  We are officially into summer vacation now!  To kick things off, and celebrate them finishing another year of school, I wanted to make a little surprise for them to come home to.  I gathered some things I knew they would like, wrote a little note on top for each child, and let them open their boxes when Ben got home from school.  It was such a fun way to end the school year!

These girls love stickers.  Mila, my little scrapbooker, was out of scrapbooking stickers, so it was the perfect opportunity to get her some.

Once Olivia laid eyes on the candy, that was it.  She didn't need to see anything else! 

The plan was to pull their poppers at the same time and get it on camera.  Obviously it didn't work out too well.  They pulled and pulled and could not get those things to pop!  I get a kick out of the looks on their faces.  This may be picture overload, but bear with me.  :)

I can't believe such little things make them so excited!  The best part is, I got most of it at the dollar store. :)



Olivia is the eternal priness.  Or ballerina; it's about half and half.  She loves performing for me, twirling around, curtsying and saying, "Thank you, thank you."  She loves her ballet flats cause she can stand on her toes in them.  I was headed outside to work in the yard a couple days ago, and Mila and Olivia wanted to put on a show for me first.  They ran around, twirled, curtsyed, hugged, and giggled. 

Later, as I was redoing some of our beds, the girls were playing next to me.  Before long, Mila had a paper cup in her hand and was scooping up roly polys into it.  I remember not too long ago she was deathly afraid of bugs and spiders, and here she is obsessed with roly polys.  I showed her that if you move the rocks away from a shrub, the roly polys are there in bunches, hiding in the moist, shady dirt. 

As I worked, I would hear things like, "Nobody is getting away from me!" "Nobody is leaving!" And Olivia, "Come here, roly poly, to your best friend!" I guess she knows which ones are best friends. Olivia is still hesitant with them, but she copies everything Mila does, so it won't be long until she's fearless as well. 

They got sooo many more than this.  All I heard for hours was, "Mila, I found one!  Right here!  Hurry!" accompanied by a bunch of squealing.

Aren't girls so interesting?  So girly and yet so tough and adventurous too.  I hope they never lose that.


The Garden is Growing

The sun is doing wonderful things around here.  My little garden is growing, things are pushing their way up out of the ground, and we are getting outside more to enjoy it all.  This is also the first year our lilacs got big enough to bloom, and before I knew it, Mila and Olivia had 'picked' a bunch of them to play with yesterday.  Girls and flowers.  Olivia actually complained to me earlier that we have no flowers growing in the yard and that it's ugly.  I better remedy the situation soon.

Mila and Olivia begged and begged to have a picnic outside, and I tried to say no, but they won.  So we had a very impromptu picnic in the backyard with leftover pizza, this delicious spinach strawberry salad, yogurt, cucumber slices and mango chunks.  Sometimes children are good reminders to slow down and really take it all in, aren't they?

 Can't wait for my two lilac bushes to explode with blooms next year.

I started gardening in my backyard last year, and once I got a taste of it, I was kind of hooked.  Last year I bought all my plants, knowing I didn't want to overdo it by biting off more than I could chew.  But this year I was ready to tackle starting everything but the tomatoes from seed. 

My first raised bed came up fine, but the second one sat and sat for weeks with nothing coming up at all.  I thought that was it, until a couple days ago I saw green!  Which means at least some of it is going to make it!  I don't remember what vegetable is in the first picture, but I know a tomato plant when I see one (aah, obviously I should have labeled things). 

I had mint in one of my beds last year, and when I turned the soil this year, some mint roots didn't get removed, and started growing ALL OVER THE BED!  It's like a tiny nightmare in that box. I have to go out and pluck a million little mint shoots every once in a while so they don't overtake the new plants.  And they are hardy.  If you're thinking of starting your own garden, beware of mint.  I hear putting it in its own pot keeps it from spreading like wildfire to everything else.  Here's some mint growing next to a tomato plant, and my radishes growing nicely.

It's not much to look at now, but I will definitely keep you posted.  This is my little labor of love, and I am pretty proud!


Baby Shower Invitations

Friday, May 25, 2012

I love making things with paper, to start with nothing and end up with something really pretty to look at.  That's why I love scrapbooking, it kind of satiates my eye, as well as my need to be visually discerning.  Creating can be so satisfying.

My sister is having a baby in four weeks, if she makes it to her due date, that is, and I couldn't be more excited and oh so happy for her and her husband.  I have the honor of throwing her a baby shower since I am the only sister in town.  Julia.  I'm going with a folksy Russian theme, with matryoshkas and polka-dotted mushrooms.  If you can imagine Russian cross-stitch and old peasant dancers (kazaki) with their traditional hair and dress, that's kind of what I'm going for, with a more modern twist.  It will be soft and pretty and graphic and fun. 

I wanted to make something folksy and colorful for her invitations, but nothing too complicated.  This is what I came up with.

I used my favorite cardstock, put the text together in Photoshop, printed, cut, and added strips of patterned paper (if it doesn't seem easy enough, I clarified everything for you).  ;) 

Kraft envelopes add the finishing touch.

One more week until the big party, and I have lots to do!  I tend to procrastinate and put things off until my perfectionist self feels I am worthy of taking a project on, so it is always a struggle for me to manage my time wisely and consistently get things done.  I have been doing pretty dang good, though, I must say! 


Taking It Slow

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

We have been taking it slow around here lately, and I have to say, it has been pretty good most of the time. B doesn't sit around unless it's to sleep, but this time it was doctor's orders, so he had no choice. Which was a really great set-up for me.

He had splints put in both nostrils that were removed yesterday, and the healing has been going well since then. He is now back at work today, though no lifting of any kind allowed. I may have to go check on him and make sure.

My mom brought these over for him. I am obsessed with those snowballs.
All he was allowed to do was sit--no walking around, no laying down.

Organic chicken soup on the stove.

My sister brought over the most delicious manicotti. All the kids raved as they ate.

Got to make these tacos de carne asada out of my Glamour magazine. Carne asada, black beans, homemade pico de gallo, avocado, and fresh onion, with corn on the side.

Back to reality. No more sitting around, boo.


Mid-Week Date Night

The husband took me to hear Chonda Pierce in her Live Love Laugh tour recently, which gave us the opportunity to take our little '91 Mazda Miata out on the road for the first time.  It was the best feeling, driving down the road with my hair whipping all around.  I just tried not to grin.

 Warren Barfield opened for Chonda, and his talk was all about how his marriage almost ended in divorce, but both he and his wife decided they wanted to fight for it.  Loved his message--whatever is worth having, we need to be fighting for it, because the devil is always fighting against us.  Chonda had all kinds of hilarious things to say about Christians in general and how each denomination has a certain way of doing things.  That lady is not afraid to speak her mind!  It wasn't all funny, though, because she talked about her childhood and her battle with deep depression.  We also got to sponsor a little girl from Rwanda through Food for the Hungry.  I don't know how people refrained from sponsoring a child after Warren's talk.  He has persuasive speeches down pat.

Funny story.  B almost didn't make it inside because on our way in, we didn't see one man walking in.  Only groups and groups of women.  I promised him there would be more inside (and there were), but they were all sorely outnumbered.  And of course Chonda took the opportunity to give them a hard time about it.  :)

Too bad that little convertible is a two-seater, because that means we're not taking it out much unless we put the kids in the trunk.  We'll take what we can get, I guess!


Mother's Day

This year was a standout Mother's Day for me.  I really enjoyed the whole weekend, even though it wasn't all rest and relaxation.  The kids are all old enough to know what the holiday is about, so they started off the day by telling me "Happy Mother's Day," gave me their handmade cards, and I got this sweet little flower in a paper mache'd milk carton from Mila.  I bought myself a dresser at a local consignment shop as an early present since I know B hates to shop, then B bought me a couple more gifts as well.  Totally unexpected, but good.

Strawberry rhubarb pie from the farmer's market.

I got pretty carnations from all three kiddos at church.

My nephew Noah.  I pulled out the camera, and he wasn't having it. 

Peeking out.

We beat the rush with our Monday morning breakfast.  Much more leisurely and fun.  Not to mention better service.

Flowers for the mother-in-law.  Ranunculus are my absolute favorite.

I couldn't stop snapping pictures!  So pretty.